With a membership of all the top brass in the profession, the Professional
Services Global Competitiveness group looks set to prove a flashpoint for
forthcoming political controversies about the profession.
The group is chaired by Sir Michael Snyder of Kingston Smith and City
minister Kitty Ussher.
According to Sir Michael, definitive issues are yet to be disclosed because the
group is still negotiating what’s most important.
‘There are a number of issues [being discussed] which I can’t go into this
stage but that are universal to professional services,’ he said.
In the group’s inaugural meeting last week, he said members covered a wide
range of medium and longer-term issues and while nothing has been finalised, the
agenda is split across the breadth of professional services.
Cross-cutting issues which were loosely identified as work streams include
skills, tax, infrastructure, regulation and the perception of the UK’s
professional services by foreign markets.
‘Those are not definitive work-streams… it’s just a flavour of what we’re
talking about,’ he said.
Though he refuses to be drawn, the prospect of companies leaving the UK must
be high on the agenda.
Snyder was encouraged by the engagement and involvement of the group, and when
pressed on whether professions would be pushing their own agenda, said he
‘doesn’t foresee confrontation or difficulty in any way’.
He is urging organisations and individuals to actively engage in providing
input and feedback as
to pressing concerns impacting on business.
PSGC will report directly to the chancellor’s high level group on City
competitiveness, with the fundamental objective of prioritising issues faced by
professional services to government and subsequent public policy challenges.
Snyder’s co-chair is Kitty Ussher MP, economic secretary to the Treasury.
Members representing accounting firms within PSGC include Michael Cleary,
managing partner at Grant Thornton; Laurence Longe, national managing partner at
Baker Tilly; John Griffith-Jones, chairman and senior partner at KPMG; and Ian
Powell, senior partner and chairman at PwC.
In addition to its members, PSGC has employed the services of several
industry bodies and organisations, such as The Law Society, the Bar Council and
ACCA, in order to push issues impacting on the wider professional services
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